The gardens at Pear Tree Cottage sit in a cider apple orchard in the green and rolling countryside of Worcestershire, England. It enjoys a sunny south westerly aspect with sweeping views across to Martley Hillside, Woodbury & Abberley clock tower. The Teme Valley lies just over the hill and, not far away, is the Herefordshire border. Although our climate is temperate, our seasons are often uncertain and always a challenge to a gardener!

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9 January 2018

Barking up the right tree!

Acer griseum in the sun.
Sunlight through Acer griseum bark

At this time of year when there's little in the way of colour in the garden, it's difficult to beat bark. Whether the light shines through it or actually on the bark, it's still much needed colour. Here we have an Acer griseum - a tad on the slow growing side but its peeling papery bark is the equivalent of arboreal dreadlocks!


Acer sango-kaku


The Cornus sanguinea Midwinter fires are always guaranteed to give colour when its most needed as long as sufficient spring pruning ensures young stems. The other (much younger) Acer: a Sango-kaku dissectum also known as the coral bark maple has a third name: Senkaki. Whichever you choose, its bark colour won't disappoint. Ours, however, has a bit to go before it catches the Griseum when it comes to size. On a long and dark winter's day when the sun makes no effort whatsoever and it doesn't even seem to get properly light, these little gems of colour are even more of a valued necessity.



Cornus sanguinea Midwinter fire

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